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The Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldHow we are helping

2012/13 Expenditure

$6.7 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$6.4 million


Expenditure is total official development assistance inclusive of DFAT’s bilateral program, flows from DFAT regional and global programs and other government departments.

Implementation of the revised 2013–14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.


In August 2010, Australia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands agreed on a new Partnership for Development [PDF 266kb] to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The Partnership guides Australia's aid to the Marshall Islands and focuses on the priority areas of increased access to clean water and sanitation, and affordable, sustainable energy.

Australia has invested $11.5 million in total ODA in the Marshall Islands over the last three years. Our investment has contributed to important development results, including:

  • increased water security on Kwajalein atoll through the provision of household water catchment tanks to 380 households (approximately 4,340 people)
  • the development of a national Energy Policy and Energy Roadmap, which has allowed the Marshall Islands take proactive steps to recover from the 2009 energy crisis and national state of emergency
  • savings of approximately USD4 million in the petroleum sector which contributed to a USD3.2 million profit for the state owned Marshalls Energy Company
  • emergency assistance to the 2013 drought, providing life-saving  mobile desalination units to outer islands
  • provision of essential scholarships to allow Marshallese students to study at Pacific regional and Australian institutions. These scholarships are helping the Marshall Islands address human capacity gaps at all levels of government and private sector.

Australia expects to provide $6.4 million in development assistance to the Marshall Islands in 2013–14. Australia remains committed to delivering results in the Marshall Islands, including:

  • continuing to improve access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by financing the design of a major water and sanitation program for the island of Ebeye, with the Asian Development Bank
  • helping the Marshall Islands reduce energy costs and improve efficiency through a review of electricity tariffs to strengthen cost recovery and the rehabilitation of deteriorated fuel tanks
  • continuing to support tax reform to increase the Marshall Islands’ internal revenue
  • upskilling of the workforce in key sectors through the provision of scholarships.

More expected outcomes can be viewed under the ‘See our results’ tab above.


Results to 30 June 2013

  • In 2011–12, Australia provided the Government of the Marshall Islands with funding for 380 household water catchment tanks for families living in Kwajalein Atoll contributing to better public health through increased access to clean water.
  • A Water Adviser is assisting with drafting a National Water Policy. A water volunteer was placed in the Water Utility on Majuro to work with the maintenance team on improving service delivery.

Commitments 2013–14

  • The National Water Policy has been finalised and is to be considered by the FSM Government in 2014. This work is expected to lead to the establishment of a Water Taskforce, to bring about key reforms in water management.
  • Delivery and installation of 220 water tanks to the island of Ebeye in Kwajalein atoll which will provide improved access to safe water supplies.
  • In partnership with the Asian Development Bank, a multi-year water supply and sanitation project will be designed for Kwajalein Atoll.

More about health


Results to 30 June 2013

  • Scholarships were provided for five students in 2012 to study at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji School of Medicine, and the Fiji Institute of Technology.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Offer a further 15 scholarships for students to undertake tertiary education.
  • Provide funding for Australian volunteers to support youth work in the Marshall Islands.

More about education

Economic development

Results to 30 June 2013

  • A National Petroleum Policy Review was completed and an Action Plan drafted to assure high quality fuel imports in the Marshall Islands. The policy review and implementation resulted in over USD4 million savings to the Government of RMI and resulted in a 2013–14 USD3.2 million profit for the Marshall’s Energy Company.
  • In 2013, Australia provided funds to the Marshall Islands Energy Company to purchase electricity prepaid meters for households on Majuro. This will help to increase energy efficiency and recover outstanding debts.
  • Street lights on Majuro and Ebeye were replaced in 2010 with more energy and cost efficient bulbs. This has resulted in a 70 per cent reduction in energy use.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Australia will continue to support the Government of the Marshall Islands in Ebeye with technical assistance which will develop Energy and Water supply master plans.

More about economic development


Results to 30 June 2013

Commitments 2013–14

  • An Australian Tax Adviser will draft legislation to begin the process of introducing tax reforms. It is anticipated that the tax reform legislation will be presented to Congress in early 2014.

More about governance


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Australia provided fuel to the Marshall Islands during the 2011 dengue outbreak, which helped to transport emergency supplies to outer islands via patrol boat.

Commitments 2011–13

  • Community-based education programs and small-scale infrastructure improvements will build the resilience of communities vulnerable to natural hazards. This will be achieved through a three-year partnership with the International Organization for Migration.

More about humanitarian

Research overview

Australia does not currently fund any research initiatives in the Marshall Islands. Considerations for future research should focus around the Marshall Islands priority outcome areas outlined in the Partnership for Development.


heading foldWhy we give aid


The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a vulnerable small island state in free-association with the United States. Two-thirds of the country’s population is concentrated on Majuro and Kwajalein Atolls. Many of the Marshall Islands’ people live in poverty, have poor health, and cannot access services such as safe water and energy supplies. As a regional neighbour, Australia is well-placed to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to improve the development of the country.

Find out more about why we give aid to Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldHow we give aid

Through the Australia-Republic of the Marshall Islands Partnership for Development the two countries work together to support the Marshall Islands’ development, especially in areas where help is most needed. The Partnership commits the Marshall Islands to provide sound laws, policies and public services for its citizens, and to effectively and transparently manage development resources. It commits Australia to better target our aid, give good technical advice and to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to deliver assistance.

Find out more about how we give aid to the Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Last reviewed: 17 February, 2014